21 August 2006

B36 News - 21 August 2006

What does Baghdad really look like? This. This photo was taken during the recent Shia pilgrimage to comemorate the death of the 7th Imam. Troops convoy in this kind of situation every day. On this particular day there was a ban on vehicle traffic in the city to help the security situation so the streets were even emptier than they usually are.

Can you spot the insurgent?

Weapons Cache Siezed
The 172nd Stryker Brigade made headlines recently since they had their deployment extended by about four months in order to help out with securing Baghdad. Now they're making headlines for the huge weapons cache that they siezed recently. Do these guys kick butt or what!

See the video here. Everything you see in this video could have been used to attack me, my buddies, or civilians. Now that it's off the street Iraq is a safer place.

Making Iraqis Safer
No, that's not a misprint. The non-profit group "Brotherhood of the Badge" recently sent a shipment of 2000 ballistic vests to Iraqi police in Baqubah. I'm so glad that things like this are going on because it not only helps to secure Iraq, but it shows cooperation between Americans and Iraqis as regular people, not as strategic/military allies. Creating a personal connection and friendship between Americans and Iraqis is very important because it will continue to pave the way towards developing a strong and lasting political relationship.

To all you Americans out there, the people of Iraq are our friends. We may disagree on some things, but no relationship is perfect.

Operation Together Forward
Baghdad continues to get safer as a direct result of Operation Together Forward. I get the feeling that when people think about military operations, they only think about troops in body armor and up-armored HMMWVs (or Humvees to those who don't speak Armyese) looking for bad guys to shoot. There is SO much more to it.
“We exist to help our people,” said an imam through a translator. “We feel very happy and feel safer if we see American and Iraqi forces in this area.”

Another imam described an incident where Iraqi unity proved more important than sectarian division. He explained that, earlier that day, there was a group of Shiite soldiers patrolling an area next to a mosque guarded by local Sunnis.

At first, he continued, both sides were nervous about being so close and “exposed” to each other. The guards, however, brought food and shared a meal with the soldiers; the Soldiers followed suit for the next meal.

By sharing food and companionship, both sides parted with a new sense of trust and confidence that they could work together, said the imam.


Blogger Mike H. said...

Excellent commentary, maybe we'll get there in spite of the losers.


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